Even Though They Are Wicked Expensive, Maine Rents Are Below the National Average
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Housing is a hot topic. Prices, people from out of state buying all the homes, the complete lack of affordable housing, and of course, sky-high rents. During the pandemic, rents were pretty stable as federal COVID relief dollars and policies like eviction moratoriums helped keep renters in place.
But then in 2021, rents started to shoot up. Plus, with interest rates expected to go up, it could keep more people renting. That's going to make prices for 2022 also high. But as high as rents are in Maine, we are below the national average. Researchers at Stressa calculated the median monthly rent across all unit sizes in each location and ranked states accordingly.
Maine has a median rent estimate of $1,204, compared to the national median of $1,435.
Rents and mortgages are the biggest household expense, and when that goes up there's less money for other things. There are the high-cost states, Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, and New York. In San Jose, the average rent is over $3,000 a month. But in Arkansas, the most affordable state for rent, it's at only $881.
How did they figure this out?
They crunched data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. To figure out the places with the most expensive rent, researchers at Stessa calculated the median monthly rent across all unit sizes in each location. Here's how Maine ranked:
Median rent estimate: $1,204
Here's what the rest of the country looks like:
Median rent estimate: $1,435
Rent in Houlton is going to be slightly different than rent in Portland. The average rent in Portland is $1,607 while the average rent in Houlton is $584 for about the same square footage. So I see why our rent shows up as below the national average. Either way, I'm grateful we aren't San Jose, California - but boy, it would be nice to have a little more Houlton our way.